Autumn is upon us. Well, for those of us in the northern hemisphere anyway.
This is my favorite time of year. The weather changes in the best possible way and the food reflects these changes. However, there is one thing about Autumn that is disheartening to me: why do the seasonal flavors seem to focus on pumpkin??? The season has so much more to offer our palates but we’ve allowed ourselves to be lulled by this over-hyped flavor. It’s time for this to stop.
A quick recap and lead in: my 12-year-old soon to be thirteen (of all the horrors!) went so far as to request Red Velvet cake for his birthday. I had never had Red Velvet, had no interest in such an oddity of the baking world, and was at an utter loss for words. Since his father seconded the motion, I went on a grand adventure which started at my local cupcakery, Star Spangled Batter.
Unfortunately, I was just as unimpressed as I had always anticipated despite having high hopes of being wrong. After all, Kim makes good cake (I can never resist her Heavenly Lemon cupcakes).
Since I never turn down a birthday cake request, I wandered off down the rabbit-hole of research in hopes of some insight about Red’s ancestral beginnings. I also hoped for a lead on how to make the birthday boy a good cake that I wanted to eat as well. The results of what I found grew into a post all their own...
On more than one occasion I have admitted my obsession with baking shows. The intensity of each challenge couples with the creative juices of each baker to leave me in the frame of mind to rise to any occasion. Also, I’m sure I could have done the pizza themed cupcake better than that guy… Anyway, I sit back and enjoy the chaos of baking and cooking shows as often as I can get away with it.
Throughout whichever show I may be enthralled with is this little nagging at the back of my mind; a little voice trying desperately to bring forward a concern. Poor little guy seems destined to being drowned out by the bigger voice saying “Did you see what he did? Of course I did but I don't believe it!”
It was not until I watched the recent season of Great American Baker that the tiny voice got to shine through: “Recipes! These guys are using recipes!” Holy sh..! That’s right: I have never seen a recipe used in any other baking show. Great American Baker shows the bakers using their own recipes as well as being given a mystery recipe from the judges. Where are the recipes in Cupcake Wars or Sweet Genius? Are these scenes lying in shreds on the editing room floor? Or do these people actually remember and/or create recipes on the fly?...
February is here. This means random snow, random sunshine, Valentine's Day, and the ultimate: my birthday.
Yes, it is a magical month.
I decided this year's cake had to be just as magical. Also, it needed to be miniature for what I had in store. Yep, the ganache was about to drop in my kitchen!
Recent trends in cake have shown a drippy styling of ganche over buttercream. I envision just the ganche, no buttercream, poured over a beautiful chocolate cake. This would be a lovely new version of the naked cakes that I love.
Let me say again, I love naked cakes. Honestly, anything nude goes as far as I’m concerned...
All [creativity] is not lost...
Corissa has been an artist her entire life and attended the Art Institute for design after completing a Bachelor’s in Accounting from National American University. She validates the contradicting combination with “I love my art but I don’t have to starve for it.”
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